The veteran who started this journey, this mission
My service in Iraq resulted in severe injury to my C-spine and chemical exposure which caused my heart and organs to fail. I had no reason to think that I would ever live a normal life again. I often struggled to walk and spent days in bed or on my couch. I was deeply depressed and dealing with a broken body and spirit. But, being a Marine meant I was never alone even if I thought I was. I was surrounded by Marines, friends, my nurse care manager and recovery care coordinator. There were Marines at the rehab clinic. There were Marines at my pain management clinic and my PTSD group. Marines and soldiers, sailors and airmen were all around me and all of them were struggling too.
I was inspired by the double amputees learning to run again. I was inspired by the Wounded Warriors that were starting businesses and writing books. I was inspired by the veterans excelling at the Paralympics and the Wounded Warrior games despite devastating injuries. I was inspired by the older veterans mentoring the younger ones through their nightmares and flash- backs and by the families fighting to make a new life out of the shredded remains of their old one.
I decided to find a way to move forward in a dramatic way that would inspire others the way I was inspired. Accomplishing a world record was the way to go. I looked for something demanding that was still within my reach. It finally came down to riding a jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean.
At that point, my journey really began